Contemporary Women’s Fiction author Jayne York is visiting me today! Let’s jump in with some gorgeous cover art and a back cover blurb!
Emily Converse never expected to return to Tamarack, Colorado. But she's determined to rescue her drug-addicted brother and start a new life. Standing in her way, she finds her stepfather, a powerful US senator, looming over her future like the ever-present monster he'd been during their childhood. Meeting wounded retired Navy SEAL, Michael McCandlis, is a steamy surprise in her homecoming, though he's adrift in civilian life. Together can they find a way to transform from victims to survivors?
A quick word to aspiring authors:
Don’t take just anyone’s advice. When I started this journey, I knew nothing about the process or the time it would take to actually produce a traditionally published book. So, I listened to both good and bad advice, I didn’t know the difference. Some told me I was great, and others advised shoving the book under the bed and moving on. Then there were those who accused me of stereotyping my characters and even ethnic prejudice. (The last gave me real pause, I’ll tell you.) Yes some of my characters have stereotypical traits. Don’t we all? Those traits help to make them recognizable. Yes, there are cultural and ethnic differences addressed in my writing, but dang it all, I have met the people who inhabit those specific characters in my book, and I believe in the accuracy with which they are depicted. None of the cast in any story should be one-dimensional.
So the crux of what I’m saying to new authors is—tell the story to the best of your ability and trust those who have real palpable, verifiable experience. Believe in yourself and the beauty of the written word. And keep writing.
Pitch and query no matter how scary it might be. It’s a daunting effort but hike up your panties and keep at it. Find a home group of ACTIVE authors. Go to all the conferences you can and immerse yourself in the writing life. You have something to say and the world will be better for it. I honestly believe that.
Coffee or Tea? I’m a devoted coffee girl. And I’ll take it any way I can get it with the possible exception of macchiato. Blech
Your desk? My desk is a wreck. But I’m really good at ignoring it. I’ll write anywhere; at my workbench, in the car, in the basement, by a lake, on a mountain or in my head. Of course it helps if there’s a WIP progress. And isn’t there always?
Character or Plot? Character and plot seem to show up at the same time. In “If Wishes Were Horses” the bare bones of the plot showed up with both my MCs. The intricacies of the subplots took some figuring, but only four years’ worth. With my WIP the plot arrived and then I spotted my hero on TV. I knew what my heroine looked like, but I found her on the big screen. It really helps me to have a visual of the physical character. I can look at them and ask – would he/she really do what I’m looking for?
Favorite Crayon color? My color would be Turquoise Sky. There’s nothing quite like the sky in the High Country of Colorado, and I have no idea why it’s turquoise, but it is. It also happens to be my birthstone
Now for an excerpt:
Once upon a time, she'd run away from Tamarack like her heels were on fire, and now here she was volunteering to step back into the furnace. What was the definition of insanity? Doing the same things over and over, expecting a different outcome. Like if she managed to change, be stronger, be smarter, things would turn out better—different. It wouldn't be that simple. She downshifted the Jeep to slow for the last of the S-shaped turns on the narrow ribbon of asphalt. The road led her past the pretentious granite columns that marked her stepfather's compound. She wasn't consciously holding her breath, but a trickle of fear dribbled down her spine just the same. Her molars ground together in determination. The past wouldn't decide her present, not ever again. In spite of herself, images of her last day on his estate flashed through her mind like the herky-jerky frames of a child's flip deck animation. Fear sharpened every visual, clarified every word, enhanced every touch. She'd run down the steps, racing for her car. He'd charged after her, smelling of alcohol and fury when he tried to stop her headlong rush toward an unknown future. They'd screamed out their mutual hatred, all the bitter dregs of their time together. She smirked when she remembered getting in the lucky shove that had landed him in a heap on the ground. It had been her first glimpse that Senator Ray Domenico was not the invincible, all-powerful monster she'd known him to be.